To Die is Gain?

Apr 10th 2011

A good friend of mine is dying.

Yep I know.  Technically we are all dying.

Last time I did the research — you can google it — the mortality rate is right around 100%. Only one guy I know in the last few millennium who messed up the rate, but I’m not sure what the percentage would be for 1 out of billions.

A few weeks ago, I preached on the Apostle Paul’s life-changing, death defying motto — for me to live is Christ and to die is gain — the

      1. Great Reversal
.  His motto means that the Christ-follower actually looks forward to death. I’m not looking forward to my friend’s — even though it would be great gain for him. It would be great loss for me…for many.  Paul said it was hard for him to choose, — live for Christ or die for gain — but at the moment, he was confident that it was necessary for him to stay. Too many lives to touch for Christ. I can’t even begin to tell you how true I think that is now.

There are few people who have impacted my ministry more over the course of the last dozen years or so. Few people who have meant more to the Kingdom of God in the Centre Region. Few people whose leadership I respect more. Few people whose friendship I value more.   I’ve been telling God, all the reasons why it is of great value for him to life for Christ.  The gain can wait.

But here’s the deal. I misspoke. My friend isn’t dying, anymore than I am. My friend is living. That’s one of the things that I admire about him. He’s a liver — I know that’s an organ, but it’s the right word. He’s a liver. Always has been. Always looking for a spiritual battle to fight, always reaching for one more victory for Christ, always willing to take one more risk to gain the tipping point of revival.   Full of faith and hope. Living for Jesus. Living for his family. Living for our community.

In many ways we are as different as we can be… I preach in jeans. When he wears jeans, it still looks like a suit. Even without a clock he would be on time, even with a clock I’m usually not. He loves excellence and organizational structure, I like words like organic and “it’s pretty okay.” But with all our differences, I want the same heart. He’s a liver.

I’m not sure he would want me to put this on my blog — so if you read it don’t tell him — on the other hand his love language is affirmation, so maybe this public affirmation will make it okay. But even more important than the public affirmation, I would simply ask you to join me in praying that God would grant him many, many more years… as a liver.

Yeah. That’s what I’m praying.